In deeper fantasy baseball leagues, finding useful pitchers on the waiver wire can be a very difficult task. With most popular free agent choices already owned, owners in deeper or AL/NL-only leagues often have to dig at even less popular pitchers for fantasy production. Here's a look at five pitchers owned in less than 10% of Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball leagues* who are worth adding for Week 4.
SP Dillon Gee, New York Mets (9% owned*)
Statistics*: 12.1 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 11 K, 2.92 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
After a rough second half ERA in 2011, Gee has started off well for the Mets in 2012. With a sub-3.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts, he has fared well against NL East competition. After a rainout on Sunday's game, Gee becomes an even better option for Week 4 with two starts this week and has a chance to continue his solid April with two more good showings.
SP Bronson Arroyo, Cincinnati Reds (4% owned)
Statistics: 21.2 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 13 K, 2.91 ERA, 0.88 WHIP
After a rough first outing against the Miami Marlins, Arroyo has pitched well on the road against the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals in his last two starts. With only one walk this season, Arroyo is so far demonstrating much better control this season and currently has an excellent 0.88 WHIP. After a down season in 2011, Arroyo could return to his more dominant status in 2010 where he won 17 games, recorded a 1.15 WHIP, and kept opposing batters to a .234 batting average.
RP Clay Hensley, San Francisco Giants (2% owned)
Statistics: 5.0 IP, 1 W, 1 SV, 7 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
On April 20, Hensley was called upon in the tenth inning to earn a save against the Mets. A rough season with the Marlins last season, Hensley has yet to allow an earned run in seven appearances this season. Even if he is not put into a position to pick up saves, pitching in less-stressful seventh and eighth-inning situations may do more for his other numbers and give him a better shot at earning some rogue wins.
RP Jose Veras, Milwaukee Brewers (2% owned)
Statistics: 6.1 IP, 2 W, 0 SV, 8 K, 1.42 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
A key setup man for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, Veras already has two wins for the Brewers this season after cleaning up blown saves by Francisco Rodriguez and Manny Parra. With John Axford and Rodriguez in front of him in the bullpen hierarchy, Veras has value as a solid middle relief pitcher and a pitcher with above average strikeout numbers throughout his career (257 career strikeouts in 253.2 innings).
SP/RP Marco Estrada, Milwaukee Brewers, (1% owned)
Statistics: 11.0 IP, 0 W, 0 SV, 16 K, 2.45 ERA, 0.91 WHIP
With 16 strikeouts in just 11 innings of work, Estrada has impressive stuff that makes opposing hitters swing and miss. Currently starting for the injured Chris Narveson, Estrada was also a very good substitute starter last season for Zack Greinke. While his next expected start is against the Cardinals on April 27, Estrada is a relatively-unknown starter currently holding value in deeper NL-only leagues.
*Percentage owned numbers for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball leagues and player statistics accurate as of Apr. 21, 2012. IP: Innings Pitched, W: Wins, SV: Saves, K: Strikeouts, ERA: Earned Run Average, WHIP: Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched.
Bronson Arroyo Career Stats, Yahoo! Sports
Jose Veras Career Stats, Yahoo! Sports
Who's Hot, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball
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Austin Chang is a lifelong baseball fan, San Francisco Giants supporter, and fantasy baseball player since 2005 who has been a Top 3 finisher in 70% of the leagues he has played in. Follow this contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
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